There are times in an individual's life when one's may benefit from support from a mental health professional to overcome life challenges. However, living in a society that emphasises the value of independence may cause it difficult or embarrassing to take that step forward to seek therapy. Because of it, most individuals will delay seeking counselling or psychotherapy until they have exhausted all other means. People often regard seeking counselling and psychotherapy as the last option. They also dismiss their loved one's request to see a therapist by advising the loved one to "just do not think" or "get over it". Unfortunately, it takes a severe deterioration of circumstances before people seek therapy for themselves or their loved ones.
The stigma of seeking professional help is so severe that those who seek therapy feel embarrassed to share their experience due to fear of being seen as weak or less resilient. For example, working adults often feel afraid to seek help due to potential negative consequences if their employers were to discover them seeking therapy., Although some employers are becoming more open towards mental health challenges, most employees still fear the possible setback of their careers due to them seeking mental health challenges.
There are numerous reasons why individuals may choose to seek therapy. It can help individuals make sense of their lives, recognise unhelpful thinking patterns, process difficult emotions, or cope with mental health challenges. Therapy can also be beneficial for processing grief, trauma, underlying mental health issues, relationship challenges, or making important life decisions.
It is essential to recognise that seeking therapy is an act of courage. Mental health challenges may happen to anyone regardless of age, social status, culture, or faith belief. Therapy provides valuable support and a safe space for individuals to reflect on their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Seeking therapy is not limited to times of crisis; it can be helpful at any point in life. Nonetheless, early intervention can assist in preventing issues from worsening and help individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms. Therapy is not a quick fix or an overnight solution but a process that requires a mid to long-term commitment for personal betterment. Short-term therapy can be effective or act as a temporary solution to process your current challenges, but multi-faceted challenges require time.
The most common form of therapy is talking therapy, also known as Counselling: it involves exploring the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. There are various types of talk therapy available, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The length of therapy depends on the depth of the issues and the client's willingness to engage in the therapeutic process.
Individuals seeking to address deeper issues may seek a therapist competent in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, and Somatic Experiencing to address the unconscious part of the brain or the body which holds the traumatic materials. Expressive therapy, which integrates creative processes like painting, drawing, or sand tray to explore and communicate difficult emotions, is helpful for individuals who find it difficult to verbalise their experience.
The type of therapy needed will depend on the specific challenges faced. Starting with talk therapy can be a helpful option for individual s who are unsure of their comfortability in diving deep into their challenges. Alternatively, consulting with an experienced therapist who can present options to make an informed decision is beneficial.
Restoring Peace is a private mental health centre which provides counselling and
psychotherapy services for children, adolescents, youths and adult individuals, couples and
groups with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and various mental health and relationship
challenges. For more information, please visit www.restoringpeace.com.sg or WhatsApp at
+65 8889 1848. For periodic updates, we invite you to join our telegram group,
Keywords: therapy, counselling, EMDR, CBT, SFBT, somatic experiencing, brainspotting, mental health, emotions, thoughts, feelings, trauma, resilience, sandtray